JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 2, 2016) – As a team and individually, the ETSU men’s soccer program has received national attention this week after claiming its first-ever regular season Southern Conference title.
The ETSU men’s soccer team set a new school record for its highest-ever RPI (rating percentage index) ranking as the Bucs are currently ranked 28th in the country. A week ago, the Bucs were ranked 43rd, but after two critical wins to conclude the regular season, ETSU improved 15 spots in the rankings. ETSU’s previous record was set earlier this season when the Blue and Gold were ranked 31st after the Bucs tied then-No. 25 Furman and defeated Mercer 2-0 at home.
The Bucs are also receiving votes in national rankings. In the NSCAA poll, the Bucs received two votes, which is the second occurrence for the team this season. The Blue and Gold also received votes in multiple polls after defeating then-No.1 North Carolina in Chapel Hill and UNC Asheville at home. The team is also receiving votes in the College Soccer News top-30 poll after claiming its first-ever regular season title.
After recording a pair of assists in the 3-2 win over Mercer, junior midfielder Cameron Woodfin (Old Hickory, Tenn.) currently leads all NCAA Division I players in total assists (11), as he holds a one-assist lead over Christopher Mueller of Wisconsin and Adam Wilson of Cincinnati. When Woodfin gets on the scoresheet by tallying a goal or an assist, the Bucs are a perfect 9-0. The Old Hickory, Tenn. native has recorded three multi-assist games this season including a season-high in points (4) where he tallied two assists and a goal at VMI on Oct. 18.
Announced Tuesday, red-shirt senior Joao Ramalho (Monte Santo, Brazil) was recognized by College Soccer News, TopDrawerSoccer and the SoCon for his two-goal performance at Mercer to claim the regular season crown. He scored the game-tying and game-winning goals to propel the Bucs to the regular season title.
Fletcher Ekern (Knoxville, Tenn.) earned SoCon Player of the Month (October) as he led the Bucs to a 7-1-1 record behind his eight goals in the month, which was announced by the league on Wednesday.
The Buccaneers will be back in action in the SoCon Tournament semifinals on Thursday, Nov. 10 in Greensboro, N.C. ETSU faces the winner of the No. 4 UNCG/No. 5 Furman match, which will be played on Saturday, Nov. 5 in Greensboro. The Bucs semifinal match will be played at 3:30 p.m.